Birthing Ayurveda: Week 33—Moving and Things to Be Avoided during Pregnancy
Welcome to Birthing Ayurveda, where we follow one woman's pregnancy experience week by week—from a positive home pregnancy test all the way to delivery.
Move during the third trimester!? That’s right. My husband and I have been talking about whether or not we want more space for ourselves. It’s been an ongoing conversation that we go back and forth on. Well, finally we made the decision to go ahead and make a move, partially because this is what we felt would be best and partially because circumstances pushed us in this direction.
There is a whole science called Vastu (it is like the Vedic version of Feng Shui) and I have found it to be incredibly powerful and accurate. If you are considering a move or restructuring your home, here are some basic principles to follow.
- Your home should be facing due north or east (not northeast or northwest) such that this energy is the main energy that flows into your home. In general, south energy is more negative and less auspicious and west invokes a more fiery Mars energy.
- The lot should not slope to the south. You want it to slope to the north or east.
- Your home should be on a lot that overall is as square as possible (rectangle is fine as well but you want it to be as square as possible as this is a shape that invokes stability).
- Your home, itself, should be on a foundation that is as square as possible.
- Do not live at the end of a T-junction or in a cul-de-sac where energy flows to and often gets trapped.
- Ideally, have your master bedroom in the southwest and the kitchen in the southeast.
Finding the ideal home with those requirements has been challenging, to say the least. This became even more true as we added a couple other requirements along the way.
- Do not live near or under power lines or near a major power plant. At one point we found the ideal home. It was gorgeous, open, and had space well used. But we quickly learned about a power station that was around the corner. Our friend, an architect who has studied radiation from electrical sources extensively, recommended that we pass. As disheartening as this was, it was the right choice.
- Ask about previous owners. We found another home that was newly renovated and also gorgeous. We found out that the previous tenants were sixteen college students that pretty much trashed the home. As beautiful as the home was, we felt there was something just energetically slightly off about the home. We passed.
I am certain we will find a home soon enough. But, this brings up the topic of general dos and don’ts during pregnancy (vastu is just one part of it) that will overall facilitate harmonious and wholesome energy within yourself and around your baby. These are common recommendations in Ayurveda, some of which may be very new and intriguing to you!
- Do not look at an eclipse or be outside during an eclipse. We’ve had our share of powerful eclipses during my pregnancy. It is hard to manage the energies of a moon in its full effect or when it is augmented or altered by the sun (think of all the folklore around full moons!). My mother told me that they would always throw out all perishable foods in the home after an eclipse because it is believed that the air has more germs.
- Do not eat leftovers, processed or and fermented foods, and do not overeat or fast. General guidelines to prevent build-up of natural toxins (ama) should be followed during pregnancy as well.
- Do not stay in a hot bath or shower for too long. I am fine with hot baths for a short period. The key is to not stay long enough that your body temperature rises too much. A short bath with moderately hot water can be relaxing and can really calm vata down.
- Avoid situations that bring intense fear, anger, or sadness. The mother should be happy! We watched a movie, The Theory of Everything. It was a beautiful movie but it was also very sad. We had to stop it early to pick up a friend from the airport and I found myself crying for unknown reasons. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, the emotional being is definitely more fragile, as is the baby. On that note, also avoid movies with alarming and loud noises (really action-packed movies).
- At this point, the diet should continue to be more simple. Decrease salt, very fatty foods, and very sour foods. This will help prepare the agni for the many changes to come, particularly during delivery and afterwards.
- Avoid the suppression of natural urges like urination, bowel movements, and flatulence as this prevents the normal down and out flow of vata. Too much travel, particularly during this time period, will also aggravate vata.